queen victoria era stamps of st lucia
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Queen Victoria Era Stamps of St. Lucia. Scott Martz 1/2013.

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The colony of St. Lucia began using stamps in 1858, when it was mandated that all mail leaving the island had affixed stamps.So in 1858, 50 pounds in face value stamps were dispatched to the island. Three denominations were shipped in that shipment, 1p, 4p, and 6p. This was thought to be about a 2 months supply.On April 16, 1858 a canceller was sent to the colony. It bore the identification A11. It’s first recorded use was August 28, 1858.


Here we can see an example of a Great Britain 6p stamp which was used in St. Lucia.

  • Therefore all stamps with the A11 cancel were mailed from St. Lucia.
  • Surviving examples are quite rare but should be considered the first stamps used in St. Lucia.

The first issue of stamps made specifically for St. Lucia were printed by Perkins Bacon Ltd using a line engraved process in 1860.

  • To save money for the colony only 1 plate was made, and the denomination differentiated by colors only.
  • It is written that this was a cost savings measure only, but since fewer than 200 people on the island could read or write it has been implied by some that this also may have factored into the decision to differentiate by color.

The die for the first issues was completed on 10/16/1860. The head of Queen Victoria was engraved by CH Jeens in May of 1860, for use on the 9 pence stamp for South Australia. Jeens was paid 2 £, 12s, 6p for the drawing, and 9 £, 9s for the engraving.

  • That engraving was placed in a vertical oval large enough for the head, surrounded by a plain band with the words St. Lucia and Postage, and an engraved back round in the corners.
  • This design was considered by many as one of Perkins and Bacons most elegant.

The first issue was printed in three colors on paper watermarked with a small star. The paper was produced by Rush Mills in Northampton. Also the watermark on the edges of the paper had the word Postage repeated around the edge of the sheet.

  • The 1 p is red, the 4 p is Blue, and the 6p is green.

Scott #1-3


The stamps were printed by a Mr. Dix on 10/11/1860, and perforated by a Miss Stewart on 10/14/1860.

  • The perforation needles were set to 14-16, but they often became clogged resulting in rough perforations.

rough rough cut free clear


Stamps with perforations clear on all sides free of the design are extremely rare.

This example has perforations clear of the design on all sides.

Scott #2


The first issue was shipped by island packet on November 17, 1860

  • They were placed on sale December 18, 1860
  • Number of stamps printed by denominations were:

36 sheets of the 1p RED (8640 stamps)

13 sheets of the 4p BLUE (3120 stamps)

17 Sheets of the 6p GREEN (4080 Stamps)

  • The final plates were of 240 stamps per sheet

In 1863 the same three stamps were reprinted, the major differences are the watermark changed to the Crown and CC, the perforations changed to perf 12.5, and the shades also are a bit different than the first issue.

Scott #4-6


In 1864 the same plate was used, but the colors were changed and a new value was added, the 1 shilling. The new colors were 1p black, 4p yellow, 6p violet, and 1 shilling orange. These were still perf 12.5 and used the Crown and CC watermark.

Scott #7-10


The stamps printed in 1864 also had a second distinct perforation variety. They are Perforated 14 in the same colors and watermark.

Scott #11-14


In 1881 stamps were surcharged with denominations. The first was a half pence in green, and 2 and a half pence in scarlet. Perforated 14.

  • In 1883 five additional stamps were prepared with surcharged denominations on new paper, which had the Crown and CA watermark. These were also perforated 14.

Scott #15 Scott #17


In 1884 the 4 pence in yellow was reprinted, and this time it was perforated 12.

  • In 1885 2 additional values were prepared, but never put into use, a half penny, and 6 pence. The 6 pence is extremely rare.

Scott #24

Scott #25

Scott #26


In 1883 stamps were standardized into what the rest of the commonwealth was using. In the first large scale common design type used by several commonwealth countries. The first 6 values were done in single colors.


In 1892 the were three overprints done, one of which was bisected.

  • Several varieties are known, including doubled surcharges and varieties to individual components.

A total of 40 stamps were issued under Queen Victoria’s reign for the colony of St. Lucia, all of which carried her portrait.

The End